Why I Am Vehemently Against Finals Week

Why I'm Vehemently Against Finals Week

Finals week is less of a test of the material you learned, and more of a test to see if you can mentally handle the week itself.

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Finals week is an unnecessary aspect of college that is extremely detrimental to the mental health of students who are actually concerned about their grades and strive to succeed. Feel free to call me a stupid, feels-entitled, millennial if you please, but whether you agree or not, I can say as a college student in the year 2018 that having finals are far more deleterious than not having them.

College is stressful enough. Personally, when I have an exam coming up, I stress out about it and aggressively study for at least, but more if I can afford it, a week in advance. I put off absolutely everything else to study. I do not concern myself with anything else besides the one or two exams I have in the following week.

I try my best to prioritize, but I often neglect the classes that I do not have exams during the week of other exams. My eating schedule gets destroyed, my sleep schedule gets destroyed, and my mind can hardly think about anything else.

Now, imagine, in a span of four days, you have FIVE exams to worry about. And, if that isn't bad enough, they're not on 2-4 chapters like your other exams... They're on absolutely everything you learned since the first day of school. So essentially, any piece knowledge you learned in any class ever in the past semester is fair game, and you have to know it all.

But wait! That's not all! There's more! Did I mention that the final exam in a class almost always counts more than other exams, and it always makes up a huge chunk of your final grade? Your grade in every respective class, and thus your overall GPA, depends on your performance on each final.

You could say "why don't you start studying really early, so you can get a lot of studying done?" The answer to that is I can't because I have regular during-semester exams all the way up until finals week that I have to study for, so unless you want to fail those, you can't start studying for finals until the during-semester exams are all over.

Because of the way final exams are set up, scheduled, and weighted, if you want good grades on your finals, and thus good grades in your classes, you truly have to sacrifice your mental health, well-being, and happiness for a solid two weeks.

Unless all of your classes are a walk in the park, there is no way to be able to efficiently and sufficiently prepare for all of them without sacrificing time to sleep, time to eat, and time to relax. In addition, don't forget the fact that you're constantly overcome with stress because your GPA resides on these extremely weighted exams that are hard hours apart from each other. (Sometimes, there is only ten minutes between finals.)

You truly have to make sure you know absolutely everything you learned all semester. You can't focus on any one class, because your grades in all of your other classes will suffer. You have to find a way to study for all of your finals, in such little time.

Dedicating too much time to one class will cause you do not have enough time for a different class, and thus could potentially cause you to drop a letter grade or two in the different class, being seriously detrimental to your GPA. However, if you don't spend enough time on a certain class, your letter grade could drop in that class and also harm your GPA. You truly have to make sacrifices and pick your battles, and it is rarely ever easy. You have to play your time management cards perfect, and if you don't, your GPA will suffer.

There is absolutely no need at all to put college kids through this.

I've spent a lot of time researching final exams and the impacts they have on college kids, and I have yet to find any evidence to support the idea that final exams are beneficial in any way to college students. Almost every study reports the detrimental effects they have. (Seriously, look it up if you don't believe me.)

Why can't we just have three or four exams throughout the semester, like we do now, but without the final? What is the point of the final? We were already tested on all of that material. And, when we were tested on that material, we didn't have four other exams to worry about at the same time, so we were able to study more efficiently and perform better.

There is no need to be tested on that material again if we were already tested on it. Just have a last exam in the class from the material learned since the previous exam to the last day of class. It is unnecessary to make finals cumulative because it unnecessarily puts college students through the stress of relearning every piece of information for every class they were already tested on. Finals week is less of a test of the material you learned, and more of a test to see if you can mentally handle everything they throw at you.

Walking through campus and the library, seeing students crying over finals, people throwing up because of stress, people having anxiety and panic attacks about their grades this past finals week really made me think "Why? What is the point? Why are they putting us through this?"

And I've concluded, based on the research I've done on the topic and my own personal experience as well, that there is genuinely no good reason. Colleges act like they're so concerned about the mental health and well being of their students, but yet they subject them to the most mentally detrimental week possible.

And that is why I am vehemently against finals week.

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Let's be real: you and your roommate have said these things at least one to each other.

1. "Can you turn the light off?"

2. "We probably shouldn't go out for dinner again...right?"

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3. "I always pick where we go"

This is a fight you have with your roommate almost every day when you're roommate is as indecisive as mine.

4. "Do you have my keys?"

5. "Can you pick me up?"

6. "Is it hot in here?"

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8. "Can you throw this out for me?"

9. "Can we get ice cream?"

10. "I need coffee."

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11. "Can you tell me what happened?"

12. "Are you asleep?"

There have been times where I couldn't tell if you were asleep or dead... and I had to say this out loud to check if you were alive.

13. "Check your DM's."

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14. "Can you plug this in for me?"

15. "Can you pick a movie?"

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18. "Can we meet up?"

19. "Can you help me find my phone?"

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20. "What should we do tonight?"

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21. "Why isn't everyone as great as us?"

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Tips and tricks for college freshman year.

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Obviously, I am not an expert on college life yet, being that I am only a high school senior. Barely hanging on these last couple weeks of school. I have been preparing for my freshman year of college since the start of my senior year. It is an overwhelming, stressful process and it takes a lot of preparation and time to get it all done. I wanted to give some tips and advice on how I started my process and how I have gotten through it. Starting a new chapter can be really scary, especially if you have no idea what you are doing, I am the oldest sibling in my family, and I am the first to go through this crazy process called college. Though I was uncertain exactly what I needed to do and how to do it, I figured it out and here's how I did it.

1. Have a planner

This is going to be your best friend. It helps you keep your life organized (or at least it makes you feel like you do) and assures you that you meet deadlines. Since I can remember I have always used a planner and it helps me so much. I wouldn't know what to do without it. I have all the dates for when things need to be turned in- like housing and such, and also I have up to when classes start next fall. A planner is so helpful and would recommend getting one if you don't have one already.

2. Talk to friends about their experience

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3. Do your research

Research the school, research clubs and activities that you may be interested in. Get familiar with what is on and off campus.

4. Visit the campus

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I am lucky enough that I am only an hour and a half away from campus and it doesn't take long to get there so I just go when I feel like it. But visiting and being on campus several times defiantly has made me feel more comfortable and more at ease than I would be if I had not visited at all.

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This is the last summer with you In your house as a full time member. Embrace it! Be with your friends and family as much as you can. You are going to miss them just as much as you are going to miss them.

6. Start doing things on your own

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This and my planner have been my saving grace. If I didn't have it there was going to be no progress on the thing called college.

8. Manage your time

This is pretty self explanatory, there is a lot to do during the college process. Be sure not to procrastinate and know when things are due so you can get everything on time.

9. Take summer classes if needed

If you know you are going to be behind in a class, take some summer classes. For example, I am a little behind in math, and I have to take all the way up to college algebra in order to graduate college. Well, I knew I didn't want to take math all four years of college and I knew I was behind. So I am taking some summer courses to not only finish with math earlier but just to be ahead of the game.

10.  Gather everything you need for college!

Make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Set apart some days before move in day to take time and pack whatever you may need so you don't forget anything.

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